Snips And Snails, Wal-Mart

WalMart – Come As You Are, Even In Your Pajamas

Last week, after the second blood draw, Sean and I went to Wal-Mart to get a few things that we needed and a few things we didn’t. He had been such a brave soldier through the whole ordeal — much better than mommy — that I wanted to let him pick out a new Lightning McQueen diecast car or something frivolous.

Because it was a fasting blood draw, we had to yank him out of bed at dark thirty in the morning. Consequently it was now the mid-afternoon and he was still wearing what he had on first thing in the morning when we put him in the car – pale blue long john pajamas, slippers with big snowman heads on the toes and a black and orange Halloween sweatshirt that says “Boo!” on the front and crazy rock star hair.

Apparently age four is when self-awareness starts to kick in because as we were getting out of the car, he stopped and looked down at himself.  He was mortified.  With a hand gesture that swept from his shoulder down to his knees, he cried, “Oh no! I can’t wear this to the store!”

About that time a sizeable lady about my age scuffed by in slippers and what appeared to be pajama bottoms.

I laughed to myself. I wanted to say, “You know what Sean, you are right. You cannot wear pajamas to the store. It is just not right. We need to go home and change.”

I was relieved to know that even though Sean is in the Wal-Mart, he is not of the Wal-Mart.

42 thoughts on “WalMart – Come As You Are, Even In Your Pajamas

  1. Cute story. Funny thing is there are 4 yr olds that would think it was great fun to appear in the public like that. Yesterday afternoon the kids came to me wearing each other’s clothes (and my ds wearing his sister’s glasses and sun bonnet)…they would have enjoyed going to the library like that to fool the librarian ds said.

    I don’t understand the thinking of people that would go to the store in pjs/slippers…but I guess if that is what you are already wearing pretty much all the time – you don’t stop and think “um this is not normal for a 40 yr old woman to be wearing this to Walmart”.

    I remember someone discussing the women who would wear curlers in their hair out in public – it’s like where are they going that is more important and more public that they have to wear curlers out now!

    Now this relationship is a bit odd so I’ll go slowly…

    My mother-in-law’s step-father’s daughter-in-law (got it) actually wore curlers in her hair to the funeral visitation of her father-in-law!!!!!!!! Guess she wanted to look nice the next day for the funeral.

  2. Another Blogger has referred to Wal-mart regulars as “carnies” as in those who work at carnivals, fairs, and the like. Appropriate, don’t you think?

  3. Too funny, and tragically, too true! Although I am always about being “comfy”- I do draw the line at wearing pj’s anywhere but indoors at home. Though, at our Wal-Mart,(and many public places) pj’s are the outfit of choice for many grown adults,(who should be cited for public indecency) along with the accompanying slippers, or flip-flops- regardless of the weather. I am (surprisingly)relieved to know it is happening in other parts of the country- and not just here- though the other day, I did see what I am convinced you would only see here-in Appalachia: A woman, pretty- with a classic bob- and highlights- in head-to-toe “mossy oak” apparel- complete with matching rubber boots up to her thighs- getting in to her Volvo at Kohls!

  4. I’m so glad that Sean has the good sense to know what NOT to wear in Wal-Mart. Just wish that others were as smart as he is at age 4!! Being from Arkansas, (did I just really type that?) I have seen many, many types of fun Wal-Mart attire…from the PJ’s to the prom dresses. It’s always a party when you shop there!

  5. “In” the Walmart, but not “of” the Walmart. Oh, this is good!

    You know, PJ bottoms are only a fraction of a degree lower down on the things NOT to wear than those horrible old man sweatpants, the ones with the saggy bottoms. All ill-fitting clothes are better left at home, in my “not of the Walmart” opinion.

  6. It’s mostly teenagers who wear their PJs out around here. Which, dude, how come I didn’t think of that when I was a teenager? I did however wear long underwear w/my cheerleading skirt on a regular basis, but that was a practice in keeping warm, more than comfortable. These San Francisco winters can be killers you know. 😉

    Karen–you are correct, no one wearing “mossy oak” in these parts. But flip flops are the norm regarless of weather, but we’re a bunch of hippies here in CA anyway.

  7. One of the hands-down-all-time-most-popular spirit days at my kid’s schools are the pajama days. The funny part is seeing how many of the parents dress up along with their kids (or maybe they just never got dressed?!!)

  8. See. I have no problem wearing pajamas to WalMart. Maybe it stems from my college days when we’d go there to buy cookies at 2 in the morning because it was the only place open 24 hours. Either way, I might be a little too free with my flannel pants but at least I’m having fun. 🙂

  9. This proves it, Sean is indeed wise beyond his years.

    What gets me at Walmart is the lack of undergarments. Lordie, “the gals” need harnessing people. It truly is a subculture unto itself.

  10. I am continually amazed, and horrified, at what I see worn at Wal Mart. Sleepwear is the least of the evils. Good for Sean for having a sense of decorum already solidly in place!

  11. Today–for the very first time–my six-year-old son refused to wear a particular sweater to school (it’s -14C + wind chill here today) because it looked “goofy.” For the record, it is a very nice Gap sweater but maybe a little too swish for school. We compromised on a sweatshirt.

    It’s a trick trying to teach him when to not care about what people think of him/his thoughts/his actions and when it’s socially inappropriate to do/say certain things.

  12. Around here at least once a year sometimes more the kids are encouraged to have PJ day at school. It starts in K5 and has continued into homecoming week in high school. Gee I guess if they are ok to wear to school they must be OK for the “evil empire.” I think not but I have succumbed to letting my boys go with the flow.(on this anyway)

  13. OK, you caught me. But sheesh, did you have to tell the entire world. No, it wasn’t really me (we don’t have a Walmart close by). I do admit to wearing my pj out. In my defense it is usually late at night and only to 7-11 to get something important, like hot tea.

  14. That, for me, is one of the strange things about coming back to America after living overseas, especially given that we come to the West Coast where dressing up means putting a suit coat on over your jeans and t-shirt (that is literally true; not a joke).
    French and Arab women would NEVER leave their house without looking a certain way–and that way does not include pj bottoms and slippers 😉
    Good for Sean! I’m on his side on this.

  15. I try to keep my eyes to myself at Wal-Mart. A 4 year old in pajamas wouldn’t faze me, but some of the other “outfits” (for lack of a better word) can be scary.

    I’m going to be giggling about “in” the Wal-Mart but not “of” it all day.

  16. As someone who sees any time as a good time for shopping, I would have bought my son a pair of pants and a tee shirt there and let him put them on in the store, with socks and underwear too if he needed them. My kids and I used to treasure such little impromptu experiences as adventures.

  17. What in the world IS that about, wearing pajamas and slippers in WalMart?? I don’t see it at Target. Sometimes, when I realize I am walking out of the house to go to Walmart with my slippers on (by accident!) and I go to change them, my husband says, “You would have been fine with your slippers on- you’re going to WalMart!”

  18. One of the teens in our small group wore pajamas to school every single day her senior year. On picture day, she wore flannel pajama bottoms with a nice top. You can’t win! 🙂

  19. Well, seeing how I am somewhat addicted to your blog and obviously believe my day will be somehow diminished if I don’t put my 2 cents in…here ya go.

    I find I’m somewhat embarrassed that a 4 year old has more fashion sense than I do. Given what we’ve learned about Sean this past week…his entrepreneurial savvy with hotelboats, his love for piracy, his knowledge of China, his artistic talents and now his sense of style…I say we just go ahead and vote him in as President. Or at the very least, Reigning Monarch Supreme of all Antique-dom.

    I would like to ask Sean what would be his first official act if he were to accept either of the aforementioned offices.

  20. Last week as my daughter and I were getting ready to go to Wal-Mart, she asked if she could wear her bunny slippers. I told her no, we wear our shoes to the store not our bunny slippers.

    We had not been in the store 10 minutes when she yells, “Look, Mommy! SHE has HER slippers on!”

    Sure enough, there was a middle aged lady wearing her slippers and pajama bottoms.

    What is it with people? Is life so hard that you can’t put on real pants? Is it a fashion trend I am not aware of? Or do they just think, “It’s only Wal-Mart. I don’t need my pants.”

  21. Every week I’m in the wal-mart and I try so hard not to judge those who are “of” it. The place can be such a sad commentary. And I’ve often felt critical eyes staring down my back and I think it is because I’m generally put together when I pick up my cat food and orange juice. It is hard not to judge when we swim in the Wal-Mart fish bowl.

  22. I kwym. I told my husband recently that I feel like a snob when I drop my daughter off at school, because I seem to be the only mom who’s wearing actual pants and shoes (rather than pj’s and slippers).

    I don’t get it.

  23. Even when I see cute/skinny college students doing it I have to stop and puzzle over it. Not being “of the Wal-Mart” is something special to which we should all aspire.

  24. Oh, you have just burst my naive bubble! We are moving from a little town where ‘the’ WalMart is the only place to be (apparently) and I was hoping what went on there was not the ‘norm’ for such a retail giant. We have the same pj bottom, skimpy spaghetti string, belly showing shirt,slipper donned feet in our WalMart, too. It’s quite a contrast on Sunday when they shlep in along with the dressed up people after church.

  25. Don’t you hate when they lose that sense of not being aware of the externals. My 5 year old has just started comparing himself to the world around him, and it makes me so sad.

    I loved that baby who wanted to wear his Superman jammies everywhere, even to church.

  26. What IS it that brings out the carnival mentality in Wal-Mart shoppers? I just don’t get it.

    She sniffs, knowing fully well that she’s being snobby, and not really repenting too much about it…

  27. “in the Wal mart but not of the Wal mart”
    Oh, I love that, and it unfortunately, is so true about the pajama pants, no matter what state your Wal Mart is in………what is up with that anyway???

  28. You know I had to come look since you left me that cryptic clue in your email. I love to hear other people’s opinions on shopping at The Market.(what I call it in my letters, since I would never want to be incriminated)

    It’s not even that people wear their pj’s to shop, but they wear pj’s that don’t cover their naughty bits! At least at my store that’s the case. So gross.

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